June 25--HOLLYWOOD action hero Jason Statham has been officially confirmed as the lead role in a major action-spy movie that will be partially filmed in Bahrain.
The 45-year-old British star will play Captain Hugh in the classic film Bulldog Drummond -- Hero for Hire.
He will be joined by an A-list cast, who will arrive in Manama next year to film the Gulf scenes of the movie, with the UK scenes being shot earlier.
London-based Gulf Atlantic Pictures has earmarked the $35 million production for a 2015 release.
"His (Statham) role in the movie is dusted, that means sorted," said Gulf Atlantic Pictures Bahrain office head David Hollywood.
"We will be bringing in some of the world's most renowned actors and actresses.
"I was driving around the inner part of the island for a movie that we are planning on shooting next year and it is the perfect location for the movie.
"The names of the stars that will be in the movie will be released later, but very soon.
"Parts of the film will be shot off the coast of Bahrain."
It comes as the company plans to turn Bahrain into a regional hub for filmmakers with the establishment of a 20,000sqm film studio and academy to tap into the emerging Gulf market.
Gulf Atlantic Pictures, previously Twickenham Film Group, and London-based Gulf Atlantic Studios, formerly Twickenham Films, are behind the Bahrain Film Studio and Academy, which was scheduled to be built by the end of the year, but a suitable location has still not been earmarked, causing delays.
The company earlier said the project will also include a film student exchange programme with Wales.
It has also been working with Bahrain's Economic Development Board (EDB) to develop a tax rebate scheme for production companies wishing to film in the country.
Mr Statham is famous for his roles in movies like Transporter, Snatch and The Expendables.
He is currently working on two other blockbuster movies; Fast and Furious 7, and The Expendables 3.
He will revive the role of Captain Hugh "Bulldog" Drummond -- a fictional character created by author and former soldier Herman Cyril McNeile, who used the pseudonym Sapper. The character first appeared in print in 1920 and went on to be featured in around 20 novels. He is regarded as a forerunner to Ian Fleming's James Bond and some think the latter was actually influenced by McNeile's character, a wealthy former First World War officer who spent his time looking for adventure as a private detective. More than 20 Bulldog Drummond films were made between the 1920s and 1960s and he was also the basis of a radio series throughout the 1940s. firstname.lastname@example.org
(c)2013 the Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
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